Agenda and draft minutes

Confirmation Hearing for appointment to the role of Chief of Staff (OPCC), Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Panel (Statutory Joint Committee) - Thursday, 7th December, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Chute Room - HCC. View directions

Items
No. Item

49.

Welcome and apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from:

·         Shirley Young (Independent Co-opted Member)

·         Councillor Philip Lashbrook (Test Valley Borough Council)

·         Councillor Alan Oliver (Hart District Council)

·         Councillor Tonia Craig (Eastleigh Borough Council)

·         Councillor Phillip Davies (East Hampshire District Council)

·         Councillor Simon Minas-Bound (Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council)

·         Councillor Ian Holder (Deputy) Portsmouth City Council

·         Councillor Stuart Bailey (Deputy) Hart District Council

·         Councillor Tom Hanrahan (Deputy) East Hampshire District Council

50.

Declarations of Interest

To enable Members to declare to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or personal interests in any such matter that Members may wish to consider disclosing.

Minutes:

Members were able to disclose to the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest they may have in any matter on the agenda for the meeting, where that interest is not already entered in their appointing authority’s register of interests, and any other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests in any such matter that Members may wish to disclose.

 

Councillor Lesley Meenaghan declared a personal interest that the candidate was known to her due to working together, however that had been over twenty years ago.

 

51.

Questions and Deputations

To receive any questions or deputations in line with Rule 31 and 31A of the Panel’s Rules of Procedure.

Minutes:

No questions or deputations were received by the Panel on this occasion.

 

52.

Confirmation Hearing for the role of Chief of Staff (OPCC) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

For the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Panel to hold a Confirmation Hearing in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, following notification from the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner of her intention to appoint to the role of Chief of Staff of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following notification from the Commissioner, to the Panel, of her intention to appoint a preferred candidate, Kate Gunson, to the role of Chief of Staff of

the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC), the Panel held a

Confirmation Hearing in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Police Reform and

Social Responsibility Act 2011.

 

Members received a report setting out the powers of the Panel and the process to be followed in the Confirmation Hearing, as per the agreed ‘Confirmation Hearing protocol’. The Panel noted the information provided by the Commissioner relating to the appointment, which included:

·         Name of the preferred candidate

·         Job Description for the role of Chief of Staff

·         CV of the preferred candidate

·         Report from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) stating why the preferred candidate meets the requirements of the role

·         Terms and conditions of appointment.

 

The Commissioner explained that the current Chief Executive would be retiring on 31 December 2023 after two years in post and a process to recruit a replacement had been initiated in October 2023 in order to avoid any gap in this key role leading up to the PCC elections in Spring 2024.

 

The Panel asked the PCC questions regarding the process undertaken in arriving at the proposed appointment and heard:

·         This role was Chief of Staff and the previous role was Chief Executive. This reflected changes in the responsibilities of Police and Crime Commissioners since the roles were created, including the Finance Director and Head of Estates now reporting directly to the PCC instead of a Chief Officer.

·         Consideration had been given to the approach taken by other Commissioners and Thames Valley, Kent and Avon & Somerset had also changed to Chief of Staff. The salary level had been benchmarked against other force areas. Areas with smaller police forces paid their chief officers around £80,000 with larger force areas paying up to £120,000. The PCC was content the proposed salary of £97,000 reflected the size of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight area.

·         A transparent recruitment process had been undertaken with seventeen applications received with a range of backgrounds including military, local government and Whitehall. When the role was last advertised eight applications had been received.

·         The PCC worked closely with the candidate in her current role and was confident in her ability to step up to the Chief of Staff role.

 

The candidate introduced herself, providing an overview of her past experience relevant to the role. The Panel then asked questions of the candidate which related to her professional competence and personal independence, the answers to which enabled Members to evaluate Kate Gunson’s suitability for the role. At the end of questioning, the Chairman thanked the candidate and provided an opportunity to clarify any responses given.

53.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

To resolve that the public be excluded from the meeting during the following item of business, as it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within Paragraph 3 of Part I Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, being information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information) and, further, that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

While there may be a public interest in disclosing this information, namely openness in the deliberations of the Panel in determining its recommendation regarding the proposed appointment, it is felt that, on balance, this is outweighed by other factors in favour of maintaining the exemption, namely enabling a full discussion regarding the merits of the proposed appointment.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the public be excluded from the meeting during the following item of business, as it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, being information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information) and, further, that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. While there may have been a public interest in disclosing this information, namely openness in the deliberations of the Panel in determining its recommendation regarding the proposed appointment, it was felt that, on balance, this was outweighed by other factors in favour of maintaining the exemption, namely enabling a full discussion regarding the merits of the proposed appointment.

 

54.

Closed Session to Discuss the Proposed Appointment to the Role of Chief of Staff (OPCC)

Following notification from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight of her intention to appoint to the role of Chief of Staff of the OPCC, for the Panel to hold a closed session to agree its recommendations.

Minutes:

The Panel held exempt discussions which examined the evidence provided in

the Confirmation Hearing session. The final report of the Panel is appended to

these minutes.

 

The Panel agreed that:

·         A transparent recruitment process had been followed

·         The PCC had evidenced that the proposed salary was reasonable compared to other force areas

·         The confirmation hearing process had highlighted how the candidate’s skillset and professional values would meet the requirements of the role

·         The candidate interviewed well and the Panel did not identify any weaknesses

·         The candidate’s approach appeared to provide a good balance to the Commissioners style

·         The candidate demonstrated success in collaborative working which would be an asset in the proposed role

 

On the basis of the information provided by the Commissioner, and the discussions held in the Confirmation Hearing, the Panel agreed unanimously the proposed recommendation in relation to the appointment of the preferred

candidate to the role of Chief of Staff.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the proposed candidate, Kate Gunson, is recommended to be appointed

to the position of Chief of Staff.